Snowing in Searcy was expected to primarily wrap up early Thursday morning with up to 6 additional inches being added by the second snowstorm this week, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Justin Condry.
As of around 2 p.m. Wednesday, Searcy had gotten 2 more inches of snow from the snowstorm that began overnight. The snowstorm Sunday and Monday dropped 6 to 8 inches in the Searcy area. Condry said the majority of the snowfall from Wednesday’s storm was expected to cease by 3-4 a.m. Thursday, but some scattered light snow showers were possible after that time.
Condry said cities more to the south such as Star City, Pine Bluff and White Hall were receiving the heavier snow, with about 4 or 5 inches as of Wednesday afternoon. Searcy and Little Rock, he said, were expected to get heavier snow in the late afternoon and evening.
He said having the back-to-back snowstorms in Arkansas is unusual.
“We talked about this within the office. It’s not very common to see two snowstorms like this for Arkansas,” Condry said. “It is something like you would see in the northeast or in the northern part of the country. Often times we see these systems do come back to back but usually in the form of rain. We may have a storm system come through and then have two days between another system, and while one of those systems could have that cold air in place, often times we don’t see that big cold air mass sitting over us for this long.”
It has been about a week since temperatures were above freezing, Condry noted. “That is not common, so when you do have these two storm systems coming through with the cold air in place, you are kind of guaranteeing snow at that point.”
Although the system was expected to push out Thursday morning, Condry said he expected the Searcy area temperatures to remain below freezing.
“Friday will be sunny. We are seeing the lows for Thursday night and Friday night being in the teens, so any melting that could occur, we are still going to have snow around the area,” he said. “We are not going to get above freezing so the likelihood of melting a lot is not very likely. Any melting that does occur will start icing over as we start dropping those temperatures still below freezing.
“A bigger day for melting will be Saturday with patchy clouds around but the highs will get above freezing, most likely in the mid- to upper 30s. Saturday will be more of a melting day when we get a break with some warmer air even though the high will likely be in the upper 30s, so not technically a heatwave but for us recently, it will feel very nice.”
Condry said the warming trend will eventually move up into the 40s with continued melting.
“I have a feeling by the end of the weekend and into Monday a lot of that snow will start decreasing rapidly,” he said. “I think for Monday and Tuesday we will not have as much snow on the ground. Some places in the state where they are not in the direct sunlight, may still see some snow on the ground but other than that it will be more of a bigger melting off of the snow.
“After the first snowstorm the Arkansas Department of Transportation did a fantastic job of getting a lot of those main roads clear. I would imagine a similar thing that they are kind of already anticipating having to do similar clearing for this snow. Those back roads are going to be more hazardous and it might be hard to get their equipment back there.”